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Start of match

whistleThe match starts with a kickoff and the receiving team collects the ball and generally tries to move the ball downfield to score. The team without the ball (the defenders) tries to stop this. You can only tackle the ball-carrier.

After the ball-carrier is tackled, there is a struggle for the ball. For this reason, a tackle does not stop play in rugby. Once tackled, the player must release the ball immediately so play may continue. The tackled ball-carrier should attempt to release the ball advantageously toward their team. Any player on their feet may pick up the ball.